How the Pz.Kpfw.IV became Germany's most numerous and longest serving tank.
There are many cases in worldwide tank building where not everything went according to plan. Even the legendary T-34 was supposed to leave the stage in 1941 in favour of the T-34M. Only the start of the war saved it from replacement. A similar thing happened to the Medium Tank M4. It was supposed to be replaced in 1943, but the replacements didn't turn out well. This happened to every long-serving tank, and the Germans were no exception.
|The Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.C was the most common German medium tank at the start of the war.
|Grosstraktor, the first German medium tank.
|The Nb.Fz. weighed 23 tons instead of 15.
|B.W. (Kp), the tank born from a turret.
|Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.A and Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.A. The former was no more than a proof of concept, while the latter was the first in a long series of production tanks.
|The Pz.Kpfw.IV proved itself as the better medium tank during the 1939-40 campaigns.
|The Germans had a long 75 mm gun on the 7,5 cm Kanone auf Selbstfahrlafette back in 1938. The decision to put something similar into a tank was only made in 1941, and even then with Hitler's personal involvement.
|The Pz.Kpfw.IV turned out to be the only tank in mass production that could take a long 75 mm gun. This was only considered a temporary solution.
|Everything became clear only in 1943.
|Production of the Pz.Kpfw.IV reached its peak despite multiple attempts to remove it from production entirely.
|The NIBT Proving Grounds had a Pz.Kpfw.IV tank by the fall of 1941. Trials were not conducted since it was not considered very interesting.
|The Pz.Kpfw.IV was not an exceptional vehicle, but it was a reliable workhorse like the Medium Tank M4.
|The Pz.Sfl.IVc showed that the Pz.Kpfw.IV chassis could have been modernized if the Germans wanted to do so.
|B.W.40, an attempt to modernize the Pz.Kpfw.IV. This improvement was cancelled, which backfired on the Germans.
|T-40/75 N, the post-war Czechoslovakian modernization of the tank.